I live for the CABE
- May 12, 2010
I thought it was time to have the parts on a few teen bikes plated.
Yes, there’s a Racycle, an Indian, a Merkel, a Harley and a few other bikes. All in queue to be restored in the next few years.
Hey Rudy...I'm house sitting in the Cascades, directly next door to my old house on Woodland Road. I'm here until July 11th, then I'm off to New Jersey for a month, then Miami until September, then back to Rio until April 2019. Spotted your Grateful Dead tribute bike hanging in Iron Springs on 4th St...sweet!Are you back in Mayberry,or just remembering how nice it is?
He could have used a low melting point silver solder to fill the pits, too....Yes, there’s a Racycle, an Indian, a Merkel, a Harley and a few other bikes. All in queue to be restored in the next few years.
I took a chance on the plating with Pilgrim Plating Co., in San Rafael, CA. It's a small one-man shop...the owner Kim, does all the work himself. The shop is gritty, the walls are black and dingy from years of grinding and polishing. It's hard to imagine Kim does any plating on the premises. The first time I dropped by, he had a incredible display of antique brass and nickeled culinary equipment, utensils and gadgets from the early 1900’s. He was up to his eyeballs restoring these pieces for the Culinary Institute of America. They were opening a museum with over 10,000 cooking artifacts. I really was impressed with his attention to the details; not grinding or polishing out anything stamped in the metal.
Overwhelmed with this work load, he couldn’t schedule me in for another 6 months! So I had to patiently wait, but the wait was worth it!
When he finally called to notify me he was ready... we spent a lot of time reviewing everything. I specifically told him, I didn’t want that thick, shiny nickel look. The challenge was to make the parts appear aged (old nickel looks thinner). Everything came out great, except for a few of the chain rings. There's some metal pitting visible underneath the nickel. He said, he could remove the pits to give it a smoother finish...but he would have to grind the metal down to the deepest pits...and there was no guarantee of it's outcome!
“Your best solution", he suggested, “is to go with an "acid copper bath". Acid copper plates thicker then cyanide copper. It's used to fill scratches and metal pitting and it'll give a smoother finish. (California’s EPA has stringent regulations and forbids him from using acid copper). I appreciated his honesty, but I wish he had told me this earlier!